Treatment-related mortality (TRM) is a major obstacle to successful allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). A variety of drugs are used in allogeneic HSCT, and a genetic polymorphism in metabolic enzymes could affect the metabolism of drugs and potentially influence TRM. Here, we focused attention on GSTM1 and GSTT1 enzymes, which metabolize chemotherapeutic agents, chemical carcinogens and by-products of oxidative stress and are absent from more than 50% of some populations. To assess the significance of homozygous GSTM1 and GSTT1 gene deletion in HSCT, we analyzed DNA from 373 patients with hematological disease and their HLA-identical unrelated bone marrow donors using PCR. Homozygous GSTM1 and GSTT1 gene deletions were observed in 56 and 45% of patients, respectively, and 57 and 46% of donors, respectively. There was no significant association between GSTT1 polymorphism and any outcome. However, a GSTM1-positive genotype in recipients was significantly associated with higher TRM and lower survival. These results suggest that a GSTM1-null genotype in recipients protects against TRM after allogeneic HSCT. Further studies are needed to elucidate a mechanism of increased risk for TRM in GSTM1-positive recipients.
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